Context for Analysis (C)
1C2 Ensuring Learning Expectations,
Practices, and Objectives Align with
Mission, Vision, and Philosophy
The Strategic Plan identifies Western’s mission, vision, philosophy, and areas critical to mission (O1). The plan includes institutional opportunities related to academic programs, applied learning, student development, community service, community partnerships and workforce development. AQIP Action Projects focus on the Strategic Plan areas of Student Engagement, Communicating Quality, and Applied Learning.
All academic departments and campus units develop five-year plans aligned with Western’s Strategic Plan. They work with the strategic implementation teams to execute actions that lead to attainment of the institution’s strategic goals. They show points of articulation between their plans and the institutional Strategic Plan. These units report annually on their progress in achieving their goals as related to the institution’s strategic goals and objectives.
Academic departments complete comprehensive program reviews every five years as required by the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE). The deans and the Provost/Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs review these to assure they are consistent with the institution's mission, vision, and values, and to facilitate program empowerment, resource allocation, and achievement of unit goals. An executive summary is forwarded to the MDHE and Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE). The DHE review determines that Missouri's higher education institutions continue to offer high quality, student-centered programs that effectively serve the citizens of the state.
Most units at Western, including academic departments, routinely assess their practices, monitoring usage patterns, student needs, and student evaluation of services. As a result of ongoing assessment, major changes in organizations and services occur routinely. For example, some departments have been reorganized to achieve efficiencies in operations. The Department of Communication Studies, Theatre, and Humanities and the Department of Social Sciences have been reorganized into three departments. History, philosophy, and geography are together in one department, leaving communication studies and theatre in the second department, and political science, sociology, and social work in the third department. The Department of Business and Economics has also been reorganized into two separate departments.